Teaming up with the nation's leaders in public health, federal nutrition policy and the food industry, The Dannon Company supported and participated in the inaugural summit on The New Dietary Guidelines for Americans: Preparing for the 2015 Release, hosted by The Ohio State University's (OSU) Food Innovation Center. The event convened top experts to explore the current American diet and implications of the nation's foremost nutrition policy document, and was made possible in part by a grant from Dannon, the leading maker of yogurt.
"At Dannon, our commitment to nutrition begins with our mission to bring health through food to as many people as possible," said Dannon's Vice President of Corporate Affairs Philippe Caradec, speaking to an audience as part of a panel on the industry's adoption of the Guidelines. "We are committed to supporting healthy eating for all Americans and welcomed the opportunity to join today's conversation about improving the American diet."
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommend that Americans consume more nutrient dense foods, like yogurt. Last March, the federal feeding program, the Special Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), announced that as of 2015 WIC packages will start including yogurt. With 90% of Americans consuming less than one serving of yogurt a week, Dannon is doing its part to help educate more Americans about the health benefits of yogurt.
"We know that many families are trying to do what is healthy. The Dietary Guidelines set forth an important eating roadmap for Americans to follow, and we feel it is important for us to play a role in translating that guidance into real, practical and innovative solutions that help families on the path to better health," said Caradec. "According to a recent International Food Information Council study, Americans find doing their taxes simpler than improving their diet and health. That is why we believe eating one yogurt every day is a simple step with a convenient, popular and nutrient dense food that can bring the Guidelines to life for Americans."
Dannon first began producing yogurt in Minster, Ohio in 1968, where today its largest plant in the USA is located. Today Dannon's 400 employees in Ohio produce 5-7 million yogurt cups daily.
"From Heinz ketchup, to Smucker's jelly, and Dannon yogurt, to the thousands of acres growing fresh fruits and vegetables, Ohio is a leader in food production," said U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). "However, it is on all of us to ensure that healthy food is more accessible and prevalent throughout our communities, schools, and workplaces. That's why today's event between Dannon and The Ohio State University's Food Innovation Center is so important. I look forward to continued collaboration on this issue?."
The Ohio State University Food Innovation Center (OSU FIC) summit sponsorship builds on Dannon's commitment to bringing health through food to families everywhere. Earlier this year, in conjunction with the Partnership for a Healthier America the company pledged to further improve the nutrition profile of its products, and invest in nutrition education and research focused on healthy eating habits.
"The new Dietary Guidelines for Americans have real potential to help revolutionize health care and position food as the driver for improving health. Anticipating the 2015 release, food and nutrition experts, academic, industry and regulatory leaders can see a compelling opportunity to set guidelines that improve life quality for all Americans," said Ken Lee, Director of The Ohio State University Food Innovation Center.
Following the release of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee's scientific recommendations, expected winter 2015, OSU FIC will convene a second summit in Washington, DC to inform and raise awareness of the importance of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines as they are being jointly reviewed by USDA and HHS. The final policy guidance is expected to be published at the end of 2016.